The week of 3-25 through 3-31 in review
The Astros began the season with a very solid 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Justin Verlander struggled early and then shut the door as did the two-headed end of the bullpen Ryan Pressly and Roberto Osuna. Home runs from George Springer, Michael Brantley and Jose Altuve accounted for all the offense and the Astros were off and running. The final three games of the series played out a little differently, but each resulted in an ugly low scoring loss, 4-2, 3-1 and 3-1.
Friday’s 4-2 loss was particularly galling as the Rays turned an Aledmys Diaz error and a loss of concentration after it by Gerrit Cole into 3 unearned runs and a loss to their fine former starting pitcher, Charlie Morton. The team then had winnable pitching performances from Collin McHugh and Wade Miley, but minimal run support and headed off to Arlington on a 3 game slide.
Maybe this signals that the Astros will not be a road centric team this season. We can just hope this does not signal a disappointing season overall.
The week of 4-1 through 4-7 in a preview
The Astros play three against the Rangers in Arlington, where they were 9-1 in 2018 followed by a three game series against the A’s at home, where they were 5-5 against Oakland last season. Hopefully, they get the ship righted, especially the hitting against Texas and carry that over to the weekend against the A’s.
Player of the Week:
Justin Verlander – JV picked up the only win on the week for the Astros with 7 innings of 1 run, 3 hit, 9 K pitching. He gave up a HR and a single to the first two batters he faced, struggled with a walk and HBP in the second inning and then was on cruise control for most of his start.
Stat focus: Ks/BBs
After 4 games the Astros’ pitching staff has an incredible 46 Ks vs, only 3 walks. That works out to a ratio of 15.33. By comparison the next highest in the majors is 7.20 by the Mets followed by 4.50 for the Padres. Maybe they need to be a little wilder to make sure the hitters are not too comfortable?
Pop Song That Should Have Been a Hit – “After the Thrill is Gone” by The Eagles
The Eagles had three big hits off of the 1975 “One of These Nights” album – One of These Nights (a Billboard #1), Lyin’ Eyes (#2) and Take it to the Limit (#4). After the Thrill is Gone could easily have been the fourth big hitter on the album, but was put on the “B” side of Take it to the Limit and never released as an “A” side. Children, singles use to be released with an “A” side (hopeful hit) and “B” side (not good enough, they thought, for a hit).
Glenn Frey and Don Frey swap leads and the SoCal Country/PopRock sound carried this tune along, but it never had a shot at being a hit.
So…. that’s a look at last week, this week, plus a look at some moldie, oldie music. All comments are welcome!!